Monday, September 15, 2014

Feeling Validated as a Writer

I was recently asked on a radio interview when I knew that I had made it as a writer. I think this was a good question because so often writers seek validation for their work. My answer I gave came in two ways:

The first was an email I received from one of my readers. He explained that he had been dealing with a bully issue in school. He’d been just ignoring the taunts and basically been trying to avoid the person all together. Then he read The Dream Keeper Chronicles and saw that Kaelyn was going through a similar situation. He said his favorite part was when Kaelyn stood up for herself when she was being bullied. He said that her courage gave him courage. He never said if it solved his issue he had being bullied, but to me I felt like my book had really touched someone. That after all is why I write what I write. Some will say there’s really no money in middle-grade books, and for the most part that’s true. A few select middle-grade authors hit the big time but for the most part we are all just mid-list authors. Obviously I am not in it for the money. I am in it because I love writing books for kids and teens. They are the most impressionable and they still believe in the possibility of magic and wonder.

Drawing by Levi, 14 years old. Depicting a scene from The Dreamstone.
The second instance when I felt like a true writer just happened recently. I got an email from another reader. This time it came with some fan art. I was tickled pink when I saw it. Art has always had a close spot next to my heart. I learned to paint and draw by watching my grandmother put color on canvas. When I was little I always admired a painting my father had painted for my grandpa that hung in their living room. I loved how pictures could be stories within themselves. So of course when I got my first ever fan art from one of my books I was ecstatic. The artist, a 14 year old boy, asked me if I knew what scene he’d drawn. Of course I knew! It was one of my favorite scenes in the book. From all the things he could have drawn I think maybe it was one of his too.

I am glad I was asked that interview question. I think it wonderful to think about all the things that help you feel validated in your dreams. I have always wanted to be an author. I have always wanted the validation of a “real” publisher. When I decided to self-publish my books I kind of felt cheated of that validation. I had no one backing me in my dreams and goals, not publicly anyway. Validation comes in so many forms. Mine was two emails. Both from teen boys who had read my books and loved them. They are the ones that made me feel like a writer…a real writer.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Dream Makers

I am thrilled to announce that the final book in The Dream Keeper Chronicles: The Dream Makers will be release November 3rd—in just 7 weeks!! This is what the new cover will look like. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. What do you think?

For those of you who are super anxious to get the book. It is available now as a pre-order on Amazon kindle: It will also be available for Kobo and Nook soon.

So what’s this one about?
The exciting conclusion of The Dream Keeper Chronicles.
When Mares escapes into the world of Awake, it is left to Gladamyr and his teen bonds, Parker and Kaelyn, to stop him. They must return the most evil nightmare ever to exist back to Dreams before the barrier between the two worlds crumbles and darkness reigns forever. But to do so, Parker and Kaelyn must heal broken friendships and unite an army of children who are brave enough to conquer their fears.

Did you know?
Both books 1 and 2 have been released in audiobook. Professional actor, Anthony Bianco, really brings the world of Dreams to life in his narration. I have come to fall in love with Parker, Kaelyn, and Gladamyr all over again. If you want a really fun experience reading a book, I recommend checking out the audiobooks. Available on iTunes, Amazon, and Audible.

The Dream Keeper

The Dreamstone

Monday, August 11, 2014

Check out this review!

A fantastic review on The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. I love it when reviewers get what I was trying to do. :) Follow this link to see what she said:

Sharon Ledwith: I came. I saw. I wrote.: Save Atlantis. Save the World... with MG author Mi...: Book Review: The Gates of Atlantis: Book 6 Battle for Acropolis by Mikey Brooks... Magic is dying. And it’s up to 13-year-old Talon a...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Signing

Come and meet me and all the other authors. 
At Hastings, 340 E 525 N, Ogden, UT 84404.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Gates of Atlantis

I am so excited to finally be able to tell the world that these books are AVAILABLE!! It has been such a fun, eventful road to get these books published. It took all the authors hours and hours of collaborating and brainstorming. In the end I think we created a killer series that middle-grade kids will LOVE. But you don;t have to take my word for it. Read them yourself and tell me what you think.

Don't Forget to check out the
GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post!


About The Gates of Atlantis Series

Centuries ago the great city of Atlantis had to be hidden from humans. Now magically buried in the depths of the ocean, it is the source of all magic. All was well in the magical world…until the leaders of Atlantis listened to the whims of a mad man.

A group of teens set out on their own unique quests to fight for the world they love. They face dangers they didn’t know existed. As they battle their way through mysterious tunnels and secrets of the ancient world, they find themselves in a race against time. One by one, the mad man will shut down the Gates of Atlantis and destroy the magic. Can these unlikely heroes stop him before it’s too late?

The Gates of Atlantis: Banshee at the Gate
by Wendy Knight

Thirteen-year-old half-breed banshee, Seven, likes her life. She leads souls safely to Death and she has the planet’s most awesome dad and little brother. But a cryptic message from Atlantis asking for her help changes all that. And then there’s Death, who has decided it’s time to take her brother’s soul. Now she’s racing across the world, trying to stay one step ahead of Death.

Unfortunately, getting to Atlantis from Ireland isn’t easy, and there are evil minions determined to keep her away every time she turns around. But fighting for their lives teaches Seven one very important lesson—she isn’t human, and she isn’t a banshee. She has to be both if she wants to save her brother and make it back home alive.

Purchase links:

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

The Gates of Atlantis: Guardians of the Gates
by Laura D. Bastian

Thirteen-year-old merman Exander wants to leave Atlantis to mingle with the humans and explore the world above. Talia, his best friend, wishes she was a guardian of a gate leading to the surface. She'd keep those nasty humans out of her beloved city of Atlantis. When Talia accidentally short circuits a gate, Exander is trapped on the wrong side, getting a crash course in navigating the human world. As Talia fights to help Exander come home, she learns someone is closing the other gates, and it’s destroying the magic of Atlantis. If they can’t convince the magical creatures of the world to save the gates, the destruction of Atlantis will only be the beginning.

Purchase links:

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

The Gates of Atlantis: Secrets of the Mine
by Juli Caldwell 

 Adam Alfaro daydreams about magic, myths, and becoming famous for discovering the lost city of Atlantis. The only problem? He has to spend spring break in Africa while his mom works. To make it worse, everyone expects him to be friends with the annoying Clancy Pitt while he’s there. It’s dislike at first sight...until he realizes she might know a few secrets about Atlantis.

Then he meets Nef, a spirited sea kelpie who needs help rescuing naiads kidnapped and left to die in an ancient mine. Suddenly the strange creatures Adam dreamed of become all too real. And they’re after him. Can Adam, Clancy, and Nef fight their way through the maze of tunnels in the mine and reach the naiads before it's too late?

Purchase links:

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

The Gates of Atlantis: Magicians of the Deep
by Jaclyn Weist

Thirteen-year-old Colin knew nothing of the magic world until he is bitten by a mischievous pixie. He meets thirteen-year-old Alleya on a secret website devoted to magical creatures. Before he knows it, Colin finds himself thrust into a whole new world.

Alleya has been hidden away from the rest of Atlantis because she’s half-mermaid, half-Atlantian. Her father tries to ease her boredom by getting her a computer and finally allowing her to go to school. She accidentally lets slip a dark secret —the gates to Atlantis are being shut and it's destroying magic. Alleya is exiled to Indiatlantis.

There, she learns mermaids are getting sick because of the lack of magic, and the tunnels are beginning to collapse. Together, Colin and Alleya must find a way to bring back the old magic and fight to save Atlantis.

Purchase links:

Paperback| Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

The Gates of Atlantis: Madness Behind the Throne
by JR Simmons

Callidora is an Atlantian noblewoman and member of an elite guard whose purpose is to keep Atlantis pure...until her life is turned upside down by the birth of a son.

Phoibos, bullied and taunted by other kids, is sure of one thing: something is wrong with Atlantis. Impure, Atlantian-Human hybrids are ruining his city, and he'll stop at nothing to rectify that. Callidora is the only one who knows the truth of who her only son really is, and how dangerous he can be. Can anyone stop Phoibos before his need for purification brings Atlantis to the very brink of destruction?

Purchase links:

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis
by Mikey Brooks

Thirteen-year-old Talon is in trouble...again. He didn't mean to burn down the school library. It just happened. Things like that always happen to Talon. His life is a mixture of the weird and bizarre. No one else he knows can shoot fire from their hands or cause an earthquake...but he can.

Every night the same dream haunts Talon: the destruction of an underwater city. He doesn't have a clue what it means but he feels like fate is trying to warn him. It's not until he runs away with his foster sister Hattie that he discovers his trouble-making powers and strange nightmare are connected. Together they are the key to saving saving Atlantis.

Purchase links:

Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

We are happy to announce the winners of the Blog Tour Giveaways. 
Congrats to all the winners. For another chance to #win prizes join us for our Facebook Launch Party on Thursday:

The Winners:
The Complete Series in Paperback: Amanda Thompson
The Complete Series eBook : Cathy Jeppson
Atlantis Pyramid Necklace: Lois Brown
$15 Amazon Gift Cars: Sharron Ledwidth 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Blog Tour Line Up:  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Tour: The Dream Keeper Chronlicles Audiobooks

Don't forget to check out the GIVEAWAY
at the end of this post for a chance to 
WIN some fantastic prizes!

We are thrilled to announce that The Dreamstone, book two in The Dream Keeper Chronicles is now available in audiobook. If have never had the opportunity to listen to an audiobook before, now is your time! An audiobook is a wonderful way to enjoy a book. It brings a level of richness and art to the book you can't get with just words alone.

Dorothy called it Oz, Alice Called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.

There is a world inside our own, 
but we can’t see it when we are 
awake—only when we sleep. 
It is then we find ourselves in Dreams.  

Synopsis for book 1: The Dream Keeper

When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?

Synopsis for book 2: The Dreamstone

When Parker’s mom is dreamnapped by the wicked Mab, it is up to him and Kaelyn to save her. When they return to Dreams, they discover Mab isn’t their only problem. Gladamyr has lost his powers and the only way to get them back is to become what he fears the most—a nightmare.

Check out what people are saying 
about The Dream Keeper Chronicles!

"A fun, fantastic ride through both Dream and Nightmare. Brooks has written a book that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Bravo!" ~Michaelbrent Collings, bestselling author of The Billy Saga

“A wild stallion of a story: fast, thrilling, and unpredictable. If this one isn’t a kid-pleaser, I don’t know what is.” ~Michelle Isenhoff, author of the Taylor Davis Series 

"I listened to The Dream Keeper on audiobook and absolutely loved it! Anthony Bianco did an outstanding job of bringing each character to life." ~L.R.W Lee, author of The Andy Smithson Series

"My heart hammered and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the page. I felt every emotion the characters did, I laughed, I cried, I felt fear while reading this book." ~Amazon reviewer

"If you like the Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, or the Harry Potter series, you'll love this!" ~Amazon reviewer

Check out this interview 
with the narrator, Anthony Bianco!

What have you enjoyed most about narrating The Dream Keeper Chronicles?

Bringing the mythology that Mikey has created to life. There is a sense of innocence, wonder, and possibility on the world of Awake and Dreams. Our dreams are one of the nearest things we still have to magic. And discovering the story has helped remind me to continue to look for the magic in the world around me.

How did you go about finding a distinct voice for each character?

Many times Mikey provided some kind of description of the character that would inform the choices I would make. Age, gender, body size/ shape. I imagine how the voices sound when I am reading and do my best to apply those changes when I get in the booth. I would like to think that all of the choices that I made were informed by the text. I did my best to fully imagine what Mikey created and trust that when he is satisfied with the result I have done my job. 

You work as a professional actor; do you find your profession helps you in narrating books?

I find it incredibly helpful. The fact that I am not in front of an audience doesn't make a lot of a difference to me. The act of storytelling is the same no matter what the medium. Many of the skills needed: articulation, breath support, vocal flexibility, emotion (to highlight a few) all come into play when recording. When you are in the booth you have to be hyper aware of every movement and sound. Even though nobody can see what you look like, any extraneous movements can cause sounds which can be picked up by the mic. It is essential to have the physical and vocal awareness to keep those sounds to a minimum. At the same time you can't allow that to keep you from bing expressive and energized when telling the story. It can be a tricky balance sometimes. But the years of training help to balance those factors.

Is there a character in the book you related to the most and why?

I think Gladamyr was the easiest to relate to, even though he is a Dream keeper. I love the tortured heroes. Plus, Gladamyr's powers are the coolest! Many of my favorite fantasy characters have been Shape-shifters or have had an ability similar to Gladamyr. It probably appeals to the actor in me, being able to shift and morph would be like the ultimate costume change.

If you were to dream up a nightmare what would it be?

Absolutely terrifying. Probably something similar to Minion, a monster made from a swarm of spiders. When I have nightmares they are the worst. I am usually being chased by a dark formless, shifting shadow (not unlike Gladamyr now that I think about it). There are always lost of teeth and it is fast; constantly changing throughout the dream. The worst nightmares know when to change and get worse when you think it can get any worse. 

How do you manage to smoothly accentuate the “voice” of the different characters? 

Breath, breath, breath. You can't transition from voice to voice without the proper breath support to fuel the instrument. If it sounds smooth it is a combination of quality editing and quality vocal control by the narrator.

How did you become a book narrator? Did anything specific prompt you to undertake this career?

A friend encouraged me to pursue it. He made the transition from actor to narrator full time and thought I would also be good at it. So, he gave me the initial push. I haven't been able to make that transition fully, though. I am still working and audition for gigs in bother careers. As well as working at a coffee shop and doing odd work as a ranch hand and landscaper to make ends meet. I am still at the begging of my narrating career but what has prompted me to continue to pursue it is the flexibility to create my own hours, work from home, and the complete artistic control of the storytelling.

Narrator Bio:

Anthony Bianco is a professional actor living and working in Denver, Colorado. He is a native Oregonian and has been acting and storytelling for the past eighteen years. He received a BFA in Acting with a minor in Shakespeare Studies at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Anthony then went on to receive is MFA in Acting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Anthony moved to Denver five years ago and has worked for three seasons with the Denver Center Theatre Company, one season at Colorado Shakespeare Festival and most recently appeared as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Author Bio:

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of the best-selling middle-grade series The Dream Keeper Chronicles, The Stone of Valhalla, and The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works full-time as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ ( You can find more about him and his books at:
Check out the books!

The Dream Keeper

The Dreamstone

Check out the GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour List and Dates:
Monday – July 21st